Health disparities are a painful reality across the state and a direct result of unfair policies and structures. It’s well past time for taking direct efforts to rebuild a more equitable world. It’s Time Texas (ITT), in partnership with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX), presents Collaborative Innovations for Community Health, a community-driven project to improve the health and wellness of Texans. This project will offer up to $50,000 in sub-grants per award to community organizations to advance conditions for health and wellness that improve resilience in the face of COVID-19. In addition to financial resources, we will offer direct project support as organizations implement their plans.
Good health is the foundation of vibrant lives, thriving communities, and a prosperous state. The COVID-19 pandemic and recent social justice unrest have highlighted the need for innovative, locally tailored approaches to address the factors that create unequal opportunities for health. Dramatically improving health and equity requires an approach that engages people and organizations to addresses the root causes of poor health. It requires shaping the environments in which Texans live and work to make health possible and practical for every Texan.
At ITT we recognize the value of collaborating and sharing resources across sectors, so a partnership with BCBSTX opens a new door for us to offer financial resources towards community-led work. BCBSTX is a statewide leader that recognizes the significance of community-based organization’s role in addressing the needs of their own realities . Their commitment as an investor in this work is a critical piece of the puzzle as we all find ways to transform our systems.
This is an opportunity for us to grow as an organization, to fulfill our commitment to community-led work and to practice our It’s Time Texas values of being a good partner and having an equity lens. We believe that a collaborative, multi-sector approach, that engages a variety of partners, is the most effective way to achieve a culture of health.
Informed by data-driven research and our network of existing relationships across the state, we have identified four regions where the work of this project could have significant impact: the cities of Beaumont and Austin; counties in the Rio Grande Valley and counties in the Brazos Valley region. We are eager to get started working alongside members of each community and to develop deeper relationships in these regions that will lead to new learning to be shared in our statewide efforts.
Our hope is that organizations will genuinely consider this opportunity and at the very least, reach out and ask questions, ask for support or just share any feedback. Consider applying or sharing this with someone you know in one of these regions.